Kids In Ireland With Hearing Problems Wait 5 Years For Aid

Although there is only around 100 miles between Britain and Ireland geographically, there are lengths of differences between the two countries in health services.

A recent study by the Health and Safety Executive shows that children in Ireland with hearing problems have to wait five years to have a hearing aid fitted compared to only six months in Britain.

The “National Audiology Review” research revealed the shocking findings that Irish kids have to wait almost 10 times longer than those in the UK.

Children with a profound hearing loss wait on average two years which is six times longer than British youngsters; and there are more than 10,000 children and adults waiting between three months and three years for hearing aids.

The HSE’s published waiting times admit that access to good audiological assessment and intervention is patchy at best and non-existent in some areas.

It states that despite an annual investment of €11.3 million, the service inadequacies represent poor value for taxpayers’ money.

The report further states that there are access issues, poor information, inadequate staffing levels, poor infrastructure and waiting times that have reached unacceptable levels.

As a result, the HSE is investing an additional €3.7m this year to begin to implement the report’s 42 recommendations on audiology services.

There are fewer than 70 audiologists in Ireland and the report recommends that this be doubled and that a training programme should be developed at a suitable higher education institution.

Whether it is a unitron passport or a widex clear hearing aid that a child needs, let’s work together to ensure a child definitely does not have to wait so long.